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Keane: Assad Will Not Give Up His Chemical Weapons

'The possession of these chemical weapons guarantees the preservation of the regime'

• September 13, 2013 2:10 pm

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Ret. General Jack Keane said Syrian president Bashar al-Assad would not relinquish his chemical weapons, adding the Obama administration's strategy of disengagement in the Middle East had dire consequences.

Assad will absolutely not give up those weapons or his manufacturing capability, he said in a Fox News interview Friday, and the U.S. was fooling itself during Russian-brokered negotiations to get Assad, a Putin ally, to turn the weapons over to international control.

"The possession of those chemical weapons guarantees the preservation of the regime," Keane said. "The Russians know this, Assad certainly is very much aware of it, and I think we realistically understand that as well despite the fact that we're in negotiations to achieve that end. That end is never going to be achieved."

Keane took the Obama administration to task for having no comprehensive policy in the Middle East and a lack of vision about the region.

"The vacuum is being filled by the Iranians and now, surprisingly so, the Russians," he said. "The fact of the matter is, the lack of a coherent policy in Syria, in Iraq, in Libya, the rise of radical Islam is bringing all of these challenges to the doorstep of an American president. These problems are not going to go away."